Sometime in the late nineties or possibly early naughties I visited a friend in New York for a few days. I’m sure we went to plenty of restaurants, but the only one I remember was his local Greek place that we had dinner in one evening.
If I’m honest, even my memory of that meal is pretty sketchy, but what I do remember were the amazing lemony, garlicky Greek potatoes that we ate. There were some left at the end, and in the way that American restaurants do, they packed them up for us to take home. Next morning, I stood in front of the fridge in my pyjamas and ate the whole box of leftovers, cold, with my fingers. Seriously yummy.
From time to time the memory of those spuds comes back, and I think about trying to make them, and then I forget and make something else. But now – maybe because the Greeks are all over the news, who knows? – I actually got around to recreating them.
Part of my hesitancy was wondering just how to get them so lemony and garlicky. After browsing various Greek food websites, it turns out the answer is to add loads of lemon juice and garlic. Obviously. The Greek potatoes are first marinaded in the sauce, then baked in it, and finally the lid is removed to allow some of the sauce to evaporate and the potatoes to brown slightly at the edges. (I seem to remember the New York potatoes being hardly brown at all, but I could be wrong.)
These came out almost exactly as I remembered – really lemony, really garlicky, soft, fluffy potatoes. Squash one with a fork and it will soak up some of the gorgeous saucy juices. Yum. I ate far too many of them, and even DH, who thought they were only “all right” ate more than I thought he would. Mmmm.
We ate these Greek potatoes for dinner in the garden with various barbecued items. Delicious! The lemon and garlic turns a dish of potatoes into a wonderfully summery side dish. Those Greeks knew what they were doing.
This made enough for the three of us with a few bits leftover. I’d say serves 2-3.
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- 750g - 1kg potatoes
- Juice of 2 lemons (approx. 100ml)
- 50ml olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 250ml hot vegetable stock
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 3-4cm chunks. Place in a single layer in a lidded ovenproof dish.
- Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, oregano and stock and mix well. Pour over the potatoes. Cover and leave to stand for around 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Bake the potatoes, covered, for around an hour, then remove the lid and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are just starting to brown.
- Serve at once with more of the sauce spooned over.